The 2021/2022 season begins

Snooker is back after a two-month break

Q-School

14 players are back into the main tour from Q-School: Jackson Page, Yuan Sijun, Peter Lines, Fraser Patrick, Barry Pinches, Craig Steadman, Alfie Burden, Michael Judge, Ian Burns, Lei Peifan, Dean Young, Duane Jones, Hammad Miah and Mitchell Mann. The last two players earned their main tour card via the Order of Merit.

The BetVictor Championship League

The 2021/2022 snooker season has just started with another edition of the BetVictor Championship League being staged at the Morningside Arena in Leicester. This time it is a ranking event in which (almost) all the top players are competing. Kyren Wilson won the CLS last time and obviously has a very good chance of retaining his title. The format is straightforward and easy to understand. In each group, a win grants 3 points and a draw grants one point. Frame difference will be used as tiebreaker.

"Played across three weeks, stage 1 features 32 groups of four players, with two tables per day hosting one group each. The player who tops each group will progress to stage two. The stage 1 group winners split into eight further groups of four, with two groups per day played over two tables. The eight stage two group winners battle it out over two final groups, with the two group winners contesting a best-of-5 final for the title."

The final match of the CLS is scheduled for August 13. Mark Williams played today and could not top his group. Peter Lines in group 8 and Ricky Walden in group 7 are the first through to the next stage. Top players Ronnie O'Sullivan, John Higgins, Kyren Wilson, Shuan Murphy, and Judd Trump are placed in groups 32, 9, 16, 17, and 1, respectively. Reigning world champion Mark Selby and the Australian Neil Robertson are not competing this time. Female player Reanne Evans is in group 3 and plays on July 22. Check out the full draw on the official website: championshipleaguesnooker.co.uk

The British Open returns

Given the fact that China is not hosting any snooker events other than the China Open next year, WST is populating the circuit with new tournaments. Unlike the Turkish Masters, this one is not actually new, though. The British Open was brought back and the crowd will be allowed into the venue. It will be a ranking event that will take place from August 16 to 22 at the Morningside Arena in Leicester. John Higgins is the defending champion; he won this last tournament back in 2004 when he defeated his countryman Stephen Maguire 9-6 in the final. It seems that the format is somewhat disappointing, but the prize money is very attractive: £100,000 for the champion. Not bad!

The Home Nations Series

Arena MK shall host at least one more tournament during this season. It will be the venue for the BetVictor English Open, one of the Home Nations Series whose defending champion is the world number one Judd Trump. The action takes place from November 1 to 7 after the BetVictor Northern Ireland Open in October. Oddly enough, all the Home Nations events (English Open, Northern Ireland Open, Scottish Open and Welsh Open) will have a qualifying stage. There are always upsets in qualifiers, so I'd expect some top players failing to qualify.

Background image by Slava Ivanov from Pixabay